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UNYCC is a great opportunity to connect with youth: Athang Jain

Athang Jain, Director, Jain FarmFresh Foods Ltd, who will be speaking at the Young Changemakers Conclave this year, spoke to EE about how brands can usher in social change and how Jain FarmFresh stands by this responsibility.

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 The Young Changemakers Conclave was founded in 2011 as a platform to enable young India to engage with leaders from the field of politics, media, technology, social activism and the arts. Till date the conclave has hosted 100+ speakers including world leaders, young politicians, thinkers, inventors and entrepreneurs. 15,000 selected changemakers have attended so far.

Athang Jain, Director, Jain FarmFresh Foods Ltd, who will be speaking at the conclave this year, spoke to EE about how brands can usher in social change and how Jain FarmFresh stands by this responsibility.

Excerpts:

What does the UNYCC platform mean for a brand like yours? What inspired you to be a part of this conclave?

 I saw this as a great opportunity to tell youth about what is going on in the field of agriculture. I wanted the youth to get more involved in this field. I also felt that this is also a chance for Jain Irrigation to showcase its work. We have a B2B model of business and we generally deal with farmers. So, many in urban areas may not have heard of our company. Though we are now moving towards consumer goods too, yet people may not be aware of the insights we have gathered on the agriculture sector. 

Do you feel brands can play a major role in social change?

Yes definitely. As you know several brands have strong loyalties. Nowadays, when we look at something (referring to goods), the power of the brand matters. Nowadays, companies are trying to do good for the society through their brands. They are doing well by being sustainable and socially conscious. This is what even consumers are looking for. Some brands can inspire other brands to follow the path of sustainability. 

Traditionally, agriculture has not been an employment generator, especially for those who are not from farming background. How is the space shaping up now?

When it comes to traditional farming, not many want to pursue it now. Even those from an agriculture background want the leave this sector, go to cities and find some other source of livelihood. But with food security becoming an important issue for every country, farming will continue to have a great scope. Remember, around 60% of the population is dependent on agriculture. With cities turning denser, it is becoming difficult to procure products from the rural areas. So, we are seeing the growth of hydroponics, rooftop farming and other urban forms of farming. This is making it easy for people to get their produce from cities itself. With technological advancement, food processing is becoming a big sector across the world. People are more and more buying processed and packaged food as it is safe and healthy. Many brands are already developing back-end supply chains, procuring the produce directly from the farmers and offering the best quality to consumers. 

What is your message for youth attending UNYCC 2018?

1) Provide respect and dignity to farmer and to agriculture as a profession. We need to give a little mind space to think about the source of our food. Whether we go to a restaurant or cook at home, if realise from where it comes and the effort that goes behind cultivating and processing them, our attitude towards farmers will change for good. 

2) Agriculture has a great economic scope. Youth do not have to worry a lot since with the right technology, they will be able to do well in this field. 




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